Most of New Zealand remains drier than normal for this time of year, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) said.

For the North Island, soil moisture levels are much drier than normal for the mast of the island, Niwa said in a climate update.

Severely to extremely drier-than-normal soil moisture levels persist in much of the northern and eastern portions of the island, Niwa said.

This includes parts of the Bay of Plenty, Wairarapa, eastern Manawatu-Wanganui and southern Taranaki regions as well as much of Hawke's Bay, Gisborne, Auckland and Northland regions.


For the South Island, soil moisture levels remain drier than normal for large sections of the eastern, northwestern and southwestern parts of the island.

Severely to extremely drier-than-normal soils exist in parts of eastern Canterbury as well as pockets of western Southland.

Wetter-than-normal soils are present for coastal areas of the northern West Coast region, Niwa said.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy last month has officially declared drought conditions on the east coast of the South Island a "medium-scale adverse event".

The declaration, which will trigger Government support for farmers, covers parts of Otago, Canterbury and the Marlborough district.